Simply trying harder in a relationship that is being strained isn’t always going to make things better. When couples do everything in their power to improve a relationship, and it just stays the same or gets worse, it’s easy to feel disappointed, hopeless, and even angry. That is when it is time to ask these questions as a couple:
“How long are we going to keep doing things that simply don’t work?”
“Are we willing to let go of conventional ways of doing things and embrace non-traditional strategies?”
“Can we tolerate making adjustments to new strategies before going back to what hasn’t worked?”
“Can we accept and implement whatever solution the other partner thinks might work without judgement?”
“How willing are we as a couple to work together to find an effective solution?”
Instead of just trying harder at making a relationship work, it’s imperative that couples try a different approach. This simply means understanding how it affects each person in the relationship, and using strategies that take into consideration how both people can work together toward a healthier relationship.
It’s easy for an individual in a relationship to fall into a pattern of blaming their partner for causing the issues within the relationship. It is also easy for the an individual to simply blame themselves. Blame is inappropriate and can be used as an excuse to not move forward. Blame separates! The focus should be on the positive changes that bring you closer together.
If there is a lack of experience it becomes easy for one person to attempt to take over and teach their partner how to do things “properly.” This can leave the affected partner feeling unloved or defeated.
Because of past shortcomings or failed relationships, an individual may place blame on themselves which often leads feelings of defeat and a fear to try because of the risk of failure.
At this point it is important to understand that different approaches can lead to success, stability, and positive relationships. “Different” is a very important mental step that needs to be the first one that is taken.
No matter how bad things may have been in the past, there is hope and the possibility for a brighter future. When both partners in a relationship make an effort to get creative and try different approaches, then relationships can improve. Instead of attempting to work harder at things that haven’t worked in the past, take a few minutes to analyze what did work and what didn’t work in a particular situation. Over time, and with practice, couples can find the approach that works and continue to make progress towards a stable, healthy relationship.